Mediator In NBA Labor Dispute: Dr. Phil?
The NBA labor negotiations are very much like a dispute between spouses. The owners who we will refer to in this scenario as the "stupid husbands" want to be practical and buy a 75-inch plasma television with surround sound. Meanwhile the players, who in our analogy will be called the "demanding wives," want to keep all the money for necessities like food, living expenses, and gaudy gold jewelry.
And now our unhappy couple is going to meet its Dr. Phil.
We all heard ahead of time that this was labor negotiation would be different for the NBA, that this time the owners were serious. ... NO cash bingo sites silliness here! They drew a line in the sand, and put up a flag that said "Don't tread on me," and amid all their usual harrumphs and grumblings were statements like, "We will never give in, not backing up. We will not be stupid husbands anymore. Give us our big television or give us death."
The owners (the real ones, not our imaginary husband-type owners from above) carved their stone tablets with their list of absolute demands. I am not an expert but after spend several seconds doing research and playing computer games I have discovered what the actual demands of the owners were. These were the demands carved into the stone tablets brought down from the mountaintop by David Stern, and they included:
1. A hard salary cap, hidden under pretend softness, in which every team had to be under a set limit, sort of like the NFL's cap which is solid and unlike the previous NBA cap which was more of a guideline. This had as much chance of working as the SNL offer to the Beatles to reunite for $500.
2. The owners wanted the players to guarantee that the owners would not spend money on silly things, you know wasteful things like buying popcorn for $411 a box at a sporting event.
3. The owners wanted to be able to dress cool, like being able to wear a sombrero to the game.
4. This is where my research ran out but I was able to kill a whole bunch of computerized pigs with my angry birds, and I thought I needed four items on my list to make me look like an expert.
Somewhere along the way, both the players and the owners lost sight of the little people, and I am not just talking about munchkins and midget wrestlers. I mean the people who sell the popcorn that they cannot afford to actually buy for themselves. The NBA staff, and the parking attendants, and the security people who frisk you for hidden bags of popcorn when you go to the arenas ... all of them now have less income. Even the referees have to find something else to do, and do you know how difficult it is for feeble, old, visually impaired, imbeciles to find work in this economy?
It is time to time for the NBA to all get back to what they do best. For the players to start playing, for the cotton-candy sales people to start standing in the way of fans trying to see the game, for the owners to start owning, and for poor sportswriters to start writing ridiculous columns where one day they say a deal is imminent and the next day, they say, "Well I did not mean 'that deal,' I was talking about the deal on tacos down at Fuzzy's.''
The NBA owners were already softening their stand, from "we demand 60%, okay 57%, 53%, alright 50%, OK, back to 57.'' The hard cap has been softened considerably, too. ... kind of like taking too cold a swim can do to, uh, the uh, crackers you have in your fanny pack. ...
And now comes the softest softening of all: The owners apparently agreeing to visit a mediator. "Stupid husbands'' and "demanding wives'' sitting in the same room, and no fair letting Dwyane Wade yell at anybody.
The Dallas Mavericks were actually scheduled to start their preseason against the Pacers this week. I was going to be there. In fact, I was going to buy a suite and invite all my rowdy friends to come to the game -- a big free DB.com Night! -- but not now.
You hear that NBA owners? I promise you I will not be buying that suite now, because you have taken something very dear from me, the right to sit in my living room and curse your idiot referees in my underwear. I don't mean the referees are in my underwear. Frankly, I don't know whose underwear they are in.
What has become obvious -- mediator notwithstanding -- is the owners do not care about us. They don't care whether we get to watch basketball, no, all they care about is how much they can raise the popcorn prices. Between the NBA owners and the players, they have lost sight of the people that gave them the opportunity to waste millions of dollars on crap they don't need, and then gouge the public for $564 boxes of popcorn. Did you know that 1% of the population controls 99% of the popcorn in this country.
Well, it is time to make a hashtaggy stand #occupyconcessionstands, even at Little League games. Join me, "stupid husbands'' and "demanding wives''!